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As I mentioned in my last post, delegates from the least developed countries (LDCs) are meeting at multilateral institutions in Geneva to determine their priorities and objectives for the upcoming UN MDG review summit in September and the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) conference next May.
Following the devastating earthquake in January, CGD experts offered fresh ideas on how the U.S. and the international community could help Haiti rebuild, particularly through non-aid channels. Several recent developments in the U.S. legislative branch reflect or build upon these ideas:
Nearly four months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, and after receiving a letter from former Presidents William Clinton and George W. Bush, the U.S. Congress seems prepared to expand access for Haitian apparel exports with the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act. This is important because apparel is one of the few sectors, outside of construction, that can quickly create formal sector jobs for thousands of desperate Haitians, particularly women.
The U.S. response in Haiti must be about more than aid, CGD president Nancy Birdsall told Congress this week. She urged members of Congress to push for better trade and migration policies—in addition to more flexibility with our assistance efforts—to help Haiti rebuild after the earthquake.
The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing this week to discuss motivations and options for reforming U.S. trade preference programs. The session touched on how U.S. trade preferences affect developing countries, and questioned how they could be improved to reflect shifting global challenges.